Savory Barley Bowl

In Main Dishes, Make-ahead, Recipes by Frances Largeman-Roth

Makes 6 servings | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins

When you’re working from home, you sometimes need to force yourself to stop and sit down for a proper lunch. If I don’t plan ahead, lunch can be a random assortment of nibbles from the fridge. So I like to plan ahead when I can and prep a healthy grain that I can dress up in different ways during the week.

Once you cook up the barley, you can either make this savory bowl, which works for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or use it in my delicious Sweet Barley Breakfast Bowl with Pear & Walnuts. I love the combo of the chewy barley with the spicy-sweet gochujang and you can never go wrong with a fried egg on top. Of course, you can really top the barley with whatever you like and have on hand.


  • 2 cups uncooked hulled (or pearled) barley, rinsed
  • pinch of salt

Per serving:

  • 1 large egg
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 slices avocado
  • 1 tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang (I like the one from Mother-in-Law’s)


  1. Cook the barley: In a large saucepan, combine the barley with the salt and 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until tender but still chewy. Drain off any excess water.
  2. Once the barley is cooked, you may use it immediately, or let it cool and transfer it to a large airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. When you’re ready to make your bowl, place 1 cup of the cooked barley in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Meanwhile, spray a small frying with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the egg and cook until the edges are set.
  4. Place the warm barley in a bowl and top it with the fried egg. Sprinkle with the pepper. Add the Parmesan and avocado slices and drizzle with the gochujang. Enjoy!